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04/19/2007


Michele Bachmann Unhappy Jan Brewer Vetoed Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill

Bachmann

In an interview with Yahoo's The Fine Print, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) expressed disappointment that Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, the anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill.

Said Bachmann:  “I believe that tolerance is a two-way street, and we need to respect everyone's rights, including the rights of people who have sincerely held religious beliefs,...Religious liberties and the protection of our religious liberties is right...Right now, there's a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States, and it's against people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Watch the interview here.


Steve King: Gays Don't Deserve Equal Rights Because Homosexuality Can't Be 'Independently Verified': VIDEO

King

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) told Des Moines' WHO TV that he disagrees with Jan Brewer's veto of Arizona's SB 1062, the bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays based on religious beliefs, Right Wing Watch reports.

Said King:

"When you’re in the private sector and you’re an individual entrepreneur with God-given rights that our founding fathers defined in the Declaration, you should be able to make our own decisions on what you do in that private business."

King went on to argue that homosexuality is "self-professed behavior"

"That’s what they’re trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior."

King added:

“If it’s not specifically protected in the Constitution, then it’s got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and cannot be willfully changed.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Steve King: Gays Don't Deserve Equal Rights Because Homosexuality Can't Be 'Independently Verified': VIDEO" »


George Will: Gay People are 'Sore Winners' for Wanting Equal Rights in Arizona — VIDEO

Will

FOX News contributor George Will joined host Chris Wallace on a panel on FOX News Sunday to talk about Arizona's anti-gay bill and Brewer's veto.

After pointing out that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 said that businesses had to serve everyone equally, Will added:

"...This too must be said: It's a funny kind of sore winner in the gay rights movement that would say, 'A photographer doesn't want to photograph my wedding -- I've got lots of other photographers I could go to, but I'm going to use the hammer of government to force them to do this.'... It's not neighborly and it's not nice. The gay rights movement is winning. They should be, as I say, not sore winners."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "George Will: Gay People are 'Sore Winners' for Wanting Equal Rights in Arizona — VIDEO" »


Objections to Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill Were 'Poorly Informed Indignation' Says 'National Review' Editor: VIDEO

Lowry

Cokie Roberts, Van Jones, and the panel on ABC News' This Week took a look back at this week's controversy over Arizona's anti-gay bill, and Jan Brewer's veto, which Rich Lowry of the National Review thought was wrong.

Said Lowry:

If you get to the facts of this, the law was the subject of a tsunami of poorly informed indignation. It was two minor changes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Arizona, which has been on the books for 15 years, was modeled on a federal law, championed by Ted Kennedy, signed by Bill Clinton. And all it says is that if you're going to substantially burden someone's exercise of their religion, there has to be a compelling governmental interest at stake...

...It's different than the situation in the Jim Crow south where you had state sanctioned system of discrimination that was flatly unconstitutional. And there was a governmental interest in ensuring that African Americans could travel in the south, which you couldn't do -- if no hotel and no restaurant would serve you.

In this case, the wedding industry is not bristling with hostility to gay people. You're dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection. And if they do, you can find another baker or florist.

Responded Jones to Lowry's points:

You can't -- look, if you want to be a bigot on your own time, that's fine. But if you want to extend that to your LLC, to your business that you own and hold out for public, you can't point to god to excuse your bigotry.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Objections to Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill Were 'Poorly Informed Indignation' Says 'National Review' Editor: VIDEO" »


Arizona Has Another Anti-Gay Bill Brewing

Now that the dust has settled from the demise of SB 1062, attention is turning to another bill pending in the state's legislature, The Republic reports:

Gayban_arizonaHouse Bill 2481, which has advanced on mostly party-line committee votes and is awaiting a debate by the full House of Representatives, would prevent government from requiring ordained clergy and judges to “solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent with the minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, is narrower than SB 1062, which would have offered a legal defense for individuals and businesses facing discrimination lawsuits if they could have proved they acted upon a “sincerely held religious belief.”

Montenegro is an assistant pastor who says that he introduced the legislation because of cases in which churches in New Jersey and England were sued for refusing to perform gay weddings.

While troubling, it's not the religious institution aspect of the bill that's drawing the attention here but another part of it:

The Anti-Defamation League has spoken against a provision that would extend the right to refuse to conduct ceremonies to judges, justices of the peace and clerks who perform them.

Religious officials are already exempt from lawsuits filed by people who feel they were wrongly denied marriage services, said Tracey Stewart, assistant regional director for the Anti- Defamation League. But judges and other civil servants are not men of the cloth, she said.

“Those are usually individuals who are employed by government,” Stewart said. Part of their public service as a government official extends to performing civil, not religious, marriage ceremonies, she said.


Tempe, Arizona Approves LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Tempe

Tempe, Arizona has passed an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, the Arizona Republic reports:

In interviews with The Arizona Republic, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and other council members said the GOP-controlled Legislature is out of touch with its constituents.

The council’s 7-0 vote was “another action that shows we don’t discriminate in our community,” Mitchell said Thursday. “We’re moving in the right direction in terms of equality.”

The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels, but includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs.

Businesses or individuals that discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability and U.S. military veteran status face a civil sanction with a fine up to $2,500.

Three other Arizona cities - Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff - have similar laws.


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